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Camping Equipment and all Clothing Tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc. Riding clothing, boots, helmets, what to wear when not riding, etc.
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  #1  
Old 19 Nov 2007
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Woollen Thermals

Anyone recommend any woollen thermals - find H Hansen a bit sweaty - want to use year round both while riding/walking etc
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  #2  
Old 20 Nov 2007
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I can highly recommend Icebreaker, a NZ brand that I understand is available in the UK. Try their website for availability and/or mailorder.
H
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  #3  
Old 20 Nov 2007
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I'm giving shoping tips, what ever next!

Marks and Sparks have a range Climate Control underwear.

here is the blurb,
Climate control keeps you cool when you're hot and warms you up when you're cold so you're always at your optimum temperature. Exclusive to M&S, °Climate control clothing is comfortable and breathable - ideal for sportswear. The Outlast technology behind this innovative fabric was originally developed for astronauts and is recognised by NASA as Certified Space Technology

Have not tried it yet but just placed and order. You can find it on their web site, T shirt, zip top and long pants.

Steve
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  #4  
Old 20 Nov 2007
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Merino

I've been meaning to post about this gear for a while, so now would appear to be the perfect opportunity!

On our recent trip to Devon, my girl and I both wore Merino wool base layers made by a British company called Howies.

They performed brilliantly for us, really comfy, not itchy at all, kept the chill off but didn't get clammy when it warmed up. Best of all, after wearing mine every day for 9 days in a row, I could have hung it back in the cupboard, it was still as fresh as it was on day one.

On a personal level, I like the ethos of the company too; anti-corporate, ethical, enviromentaly aware and dedicated to quality, not quantity.They're not bike orientated, more skateboards and surfing but hey, they make good gear!

We use the NBL light L/S, thicker, warmer versions available too.

Hope this helps.


howies® - base layers
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  #5  
Old 20 Nov 2007
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Thanks for the steers - I looked at the Icebreaker stuff in one of my local shops - great looking stuff but v expensive.

My son (who is seriously into mountain biking) pointed me towards Howies today when I was talking to him - trying to find a local dealer to take a look.
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  #6  
Old 21 Nov 2007
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I too can vouch for merino wool, very good stuff indeed
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  #7  
Old 21 Nov 2007
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Yes - merino wool underwear is our preference too. We had longjohns and long-sleeved roll-neck skivvies (thermals), both short underwear (Wundies) and bike pants style, and a T-shirt that doubled as pyjamas or wear out.

Go to: Logging into site It may not be cheap, but we love them!

They kept us warm as the base layer (as well as relatively cool even when it gets warm). As wool is anti-bacterial (I think that's the term?), you can wear them for a few days without washing and just airing them out. Or wash and they dry quickly.

As the blab on the website says, "They dry quickly, don't retain body odour (great if you can't wash) and pack into a small space. They're lightweight but keep you warm without the bulk and keep you comfortable when in extremes of climate." My wife and I can only agree after running around Europe for 5 months in and out of them.

Cheers
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  #8  
Old 21 Nov 2007
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the norwegian shop in keswick do very nice quality merino wool under thermals in mens and ladies fit they are very warm and about £50 for a set well worth the money. jake.
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  #9  
Old 21 Nov 2007
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Lowe Alpine Thermals

Recently brought a det of Lowe Alpine thermals and their great! They are not woollen so work well in all climates but camping in Wales last weekend I stayed warm throughout.
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  #10  
Old 22 Nov 2007
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Howies dealers

Hi Sanddancer,

Howies don't have dealers as such, mainly they're a mail order outfit.

Not a worry, as they have a no-quibble returns policy, any problems or even if you just don't like what you've bought, they'll take it back and refund you, no questions. Nice.

You pay for the quality, but we got our gear at sale price (£25 instead of £45) which they seem to do fairly often.

Hope you find what you're looking for,

cheers.
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Old 22 Nov 2007
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Thanks Crusty - I'll see if I've got any pocket money left at the end of the month and give them a try.
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  #12  
Old 2 Dec 2007
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Merino Thermals

This is going to sound like an advertisment but.......

Synthetic thermals are not the most ideal kit for motorcycling for a couple of reasons;
  • Wicking. A synthetic thermals main purpose and the only thing it's good at (despite what it may say on the tin) is wicking. Which is really good if you're hauling up a ridge or playing short intense sports, maybe even a short hard fast X-ride, sweating like hell. Thats when a synthetic thermal comes into play.
  • Odour... I'm sure all of you that have worn their synth. top a few times and after wearing it for a while it smells like half price at the fish markets. So you'll need a few of them for a long mulit day ride. or... just face up to the fact no one wants to sit next to you at that afternoon pub stop......
  • Lack of breathability... the heavier winter weight synth. thermals will be warm but they lack the breathabiltiy of Merino. What "breathability" translates into useful terms for biking; You start off in that early morning chill, and you load the layers up. Before too long you've warmed up a wee bit, the sun comes up. And not long after you're having to stop to peel off the layers. With a more breathable set of kit this will happen much less often. If ever
Merino.
First of all Merino wool is so superior to standard wool to the point that you can't compare them. Merino is much finer (measured by microns), softer, more breathable, and in the case of Icebreaker; more durable(just throw it in the washing machine) it works best when having two layers of merino on top of each other. But insulates you amazingly well when inactive or doing little... like a long road ride. Icebreaker make their stuff in several "weights"
  • "Superfine" Looks like a cotten t-shirt perfect for hot temp's (seriously!) I wore one for 3 weeks continuously in the middle east to really test it. The girl i was traveling with was amazed at my lack of smell even after 20 x 35oC days
  • "Skin"/"Bodyfit"... Used like a tradtional thermal. Body fit being the heavier of the two and my favourite. Works like magic under a "Sport" weight top...
  • "Sport" Look like a light jersey but has more warmth like a 200 weight polar fleece with a none of the bulk. Perfect for under a riding jacket
I've used the Bodyfit/sport combination all over the world. From mid-winter Arctic circle Sweden, a winter in the US Rockies skiing every day in temps as low as -28oC, and hiking and hunting in wet shitty days in New Zealand and the Scottish Highlands. It's the business. Period.
Yes it's expensive but 50cc scooter is cheaper too, great gas mileage and all, but it's just not the same is it!? Try it and if you don't think it's bloody amazing hunt me down and slap me!

I'm not saying Synthetic stuff is no good, just that Merino is alot better (IMHO)

I spent 8 years working/managing top-end Mountaineering, hiking travel stores in NZ, Outfitting expedtions to the Himalayas, Scientific trips to Antarctica, the Brass Monkey bike meet and everthing in between. I've been traveling for the last 4 years all over the place. Icebreaker is with me all the way

That really does sound like a advertisment doesn't it!? (and bloody long too!...sorry about that)
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Last edited by stevesawol; 2 Dec 2007 at 14:50.
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  #13  
Old 3 Dec 2007
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woollen thermals

Well written, Stevesawol. I work outdoors in southern Norway year round, and spend a lot of time outdoors wintertime with racing dogs and skiing. All my experience confirms what Steveawol said. You must think in terms of three layers. Inner wool, inbetween fleece/wool and outer wind/waterproof layer. Remember that it is the trapped air in your clothes that keeps you warm. If your clothing is too tight there is no air, or warm air is expelled every time you move, and you have to heat up the cold air that comes in. So, large sizes with plenty of room.
Feet are going to be a problem. Bulky warm boots are not very handy on a bike (as another poster said "don't ask me how I know!") but thick woollen socks and ekstra soles in unlined boots are best. Again large fit, change your socks often and take a brisk walk, exercise, to keep blood circulating. Take boots off, if possible, for breaks, and especially if you want to warm your feet by the campfire - again, don't ask me how I know. I use army boots for biking and hiking. Works for me.
Despite all the advertising for miracle fibres, wool is still your best choice, and quality is usually expensive. A new "weave" of wool is "ull frotte", which is very warm and pleasant to wear.
Last bit of advice, stop often to warm up, the windchill factor on a bike is horrific. You can do yourselv some serious damage, and people who are dulled by cold often make fatal mistakes.

Good luck, and stay warm
Peter, in Oslo

"Too much of a good thing is.....just wonderful" Mae West
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